Designing a new feature and improving on an existing feature for an online mobile dating application.

How might we ensure users’ safety, so they can schedule more dates?

Apurva Tiwari
Cassandra Cruikshank
Misty Lin (me!)
March - April 2022
2 week sprint

︎︎︎ Discover

Bumble is an online mobile dating application, well known for women having to “make the first move”. After the two users connect she must sent the first message. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with more people staying indoors, more people have turned to dating apps to meet others. There was a 19% increase in first time installations in 2021 compared to 2020. With this information, my team and I aimed to design a new feature, as well as improving an existing feature, to meet Bumble’s goal of users establishing and maintaining healthy connections.

User Interviews
We started our project by conducting interviews with 7 total participants with experience in using dating apps to find how they approach and engage with dating apps. Some of the questions includes what app(s) they use, why those in particular, what their experience was like, and more. From our interviews, there were two quotes from our users that stood out to us, that we rephrased to “I” statements:

I went on a first date with a guy who seemed really great on the app.
He picked me up and took me to a remote area and I started to feel really unsafe.
I had to secretly text my friend and ask her to pick me up.
I want to feel safe when I am meeting someone in person for the first time.

Speaking from my experience of when I used it during the height of quarantine and during lockdown,
the biggest struggle was trying to organize a date itself.

I want to be able to easily schedule dates in my busy life.

Competitive Analysis
With an idea of what our users were looking for, decided to take a step back to see what features our top competitors had. We noticed that all of the competitors did not have a way to allow the user to schedule a date and only Tinder had a safety feature of the panic button.

︎︎︎ Define

Using the quotes and insights we found during the user interviews, we created our user persona Manila Luzon, to get a better idea of what our target audience looked like and to remind us who we were designing for.

Problem Statements

  1. Manila needs a way to fit dates into her busy life because she works extremely long hours ︎︎︎ How might we allow Manila to easily fit dates into her busy life?

  2. Manila wants to feel safe when meeting someone in person for the first time because she has had an unsafe dating experience in the past ︎︎︎ How might we help Manila feel safe when meeting someone in person for the first time?

︎︎︎ Design

Mid-fidelity Wireframes
Task 1: Scheduling a date with John for Valentines Day

Task 2: Adding the Bee Safe feature to the date with Steve

Left: Moving the calendar icon to the navigation bar for easy accessibility
Right: Moving Bee Safe from individual dates to the main user profile

We did 3 rounds of usability testing-The first with our low-fidelity wireframes, second with our mid-fidelity prototype, and lastly with the high-fidelity prototype. After our first round of usability testing, we discovered that users were running into some issues. Here are some quotes from the usability tests that address those issues and how we planned to resolve them:

  1. It doesn’t make sense to go to my messages to schedule a date... that should be easier to find.“ ︎︎︎ Bumble keeps the calendar icon in the navigation bar within the individual conversations. As a team we decided that because this was an important feature, we moved the calendar icon to the main navigation bar for easier access to it.

  2. Why would I want to add Bee Safe to a particular date? If I only feel unsafe meeting Steve in person, I shouldn’t go on a date with Steve.” ︎︎︎ This completely flew over our heads! It makes total sense, why would you want to add the Bee Safe safety feature to one date? We moved the Bee Safe option from individual dates to the main user profile, so once the user decides to set it up, it’s set up forever!

High-fidelity Wireframes

Now when a user goes to click the calendar icon in the main navigation bar, a list of scheduled dates will appear. From there users are also able to schedule a date with someone that they have spoken to. 

Bee Safe is now in the main profile page and only needs to be set up once. With feedback from our last round of usability testing, we included a preview of what the Bee Safe message would look like when in use.

︎︎︎ Deliver

Design System
When creating our prototype, we kept in mind Bumble’s existing brand from the vibrant yellow (#FFC629) as well as the typeface Poppins which is used on Bumble’s informational website. With the understanding that Bumble is in reference to bees, we agreed there wasn’t enough! The credit for the icons go to my teammate Cassy because without her... there would be no bee!
Final Product

I was lucky enough to have amazing teammates during the process of designing a new feature and improving upon an existing feature on Bumble. We stuck to the schedule we planned, sometimes we even found ourselves a day ahead which gave us more time to conduct that additional round of usability testing! Although the tasks were divided, it was a genuine team effort of working together and consistently reviewing our work each step of the way.

Personally, it was interesting to dive deep into the Bumble app to see how it sets itself apart from the existing dating apps out there. I was surprised that they are beta testing date suggestions, it only proves the point of Bumble’s goals of wanting users to make that initial connection with others. I kept that in mind during the process, especially when adding Bee Safe to the app, because people should able to create those bonds safely. I would love to see Bee Safe come to live and hopefully Bumble does add a safety feature at some point.